cronechronicler

You don't know where you are going. You don't know how to get there. And you arrive just the same. Ghanaian saying

Teenage Playlist Fifties Style

All the Things You Are, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Grand March from Aida, Stranger in Paradise, Some Enchanted Evening…you get the idea. I loved Broadway Musicals, Operas and Hit Parade Tunes. My son recently added to my repertoire with tapes he created for me of the music of Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Duke Ellington and Harold Arlen. You see, once upon a time we vintage-aged folk were the original golden oldies.

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Haiku: Native Language

Song is a feeling
Borne on wind and blue ocean
Rooted in the soul

Melody alive
Bodies knew without lessons
From the beginning

My song is a dirge
Today ripped without warning
From a heavy heart

A bird is singing
Notes through eons enduring
So be it with us

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A Wide Window

This morning I ate breakfast and read the newspaper as I do every day. The updates on the devastation of the coronavirus were even worse than yesterday. I acknowledged to myself that I am filled with fear about what life will be like when the scourge has passed for however many of us make it through.

I was looking out of my long living room window. The view below of trees, plants, patio chairs and tables and the bright blue pool brought me a measure of peace. The window is what sold me on this apartment when I moved here seven years ago to live close to my family. Now so much is uncertain.

As I sat looking out my window I thought of how I would write about open possibilities. I remembered my mother’s response to the Great Depression. There came a week when my dad’s paycheck wouldn’t cover a whole week’s supply of groceries. None of us children were born so there was only the two of them to feed. My mother always had a mischievous spirit. She decided that if there was not enough money to buy groceries for the week she would buy a steak and they would have one glorious meal. I have told myself this story over the years when things got tough. It makes me happy every time.

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What’s There to Laugh About?

In this strange and fearful time
My world turned upon its head
Rubber gloves high fashion statement
Toilet paper in great demand

Afraid of germ’s habitation
I harbor mail and cardboard boxes
Consigned to time in spare bathtub
For period of quarantine

Yet life goes on

In hall outside of my apartment
Sounds of ripping old wall paper
Redecoration still in progress
Beauty not to be deterred

Today I hear construction noises
Workers replace old swimming pool
Oak tree outside my window’s promise
Blossoming in tiny buds

That Spring will come

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Hauiku: Silent Spring Redux

Birdsong welcomes Spring
Amidst uncommon stillness
Human voices quiet

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Nero Fiddles On

At breakfast time this morning the noise began. Lately the hardware store that backs up to the street behind my apartment has been repairing damage caused by a van making deliveries to the Dollar Store next door. The side mirror of the van clipped one of the wooden posts supporting the roof of the hardware store’s loading dock and the roof collapsed. But this noise sounded different.

One of my favorite things about the apartment building I live in is the swimming pool behind it. The word game ladies and I play at a table under a tree beside the water, people do group exercises and swim laps, children splash and some people just sun bathe. It is getting old, like so many of us. The concrete surrounding the pool is broken and wobbly to walk on. The management has decided to build a new pool. The noise I hear is the buzz saw breaking up the cracked concrete around the pool.

We didn’t know when construction would begin. And here in the middle of the week when the stock market keeps threatening to crash, and our ordinary days have been restructured to keep us home and safe from the coronavirus, they are breaking ground for our promised swimming pool. It is an unnecessary luxury, though it keeps construction workers employed. And it somehow brings to my mind Nero fiddling while Rome was burning.

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Unfolding of a New Lifestyle

Last Monday I received wonderful news that I did not have a serious health problem my doctor had tested me for. It was like I could begin the process of a positive new beginning. Then by week’s end the coronavirus arrived in Cleveland and life made an abrupt about-face.

This past Saturday the newspaper reported a run on toilet paper and other necessities at the big box stores. I dropped the paper, put on some clothes and headed to a nearby drugstore. I was able to buy a six roll pack of toilet paper and thought that would tide me over. I noticed employees checking partly empty shelves and making lists. Curious. The next day the Sunday paper did not include the usual advertising circulars. And there was a front page story of the empty shelves at drug stores and groceries all over the city. Empty shelves explained the absence of advertising. I went to the grocery store and got one of their last packages of toilet paper – along with bread, milk and grapefruit.

Sunday afternoon the usual six or seven women gathered to play our Scrabble-like card game. We decided that with so many of the places we regularly go being closed to help stop the spread of the coronavirus we would play our game every afternoon. We put up a flyer inviting others to join us, offering to teach people how to play if they didn’t know how. Finally, a bit of sanity and fun.

Checking my shelves for things I would need to stay healthy I found I had ninety individual packets of hand sanitizer left over from my travelling abroad days. And lots of toothpaste and soap. I found a silver lining to Amazon’s selling many things only in bulk.

My son told me his way of being safe in the grocery store. He suggested I use the hand sanitizer they have by the front door and then put on gloves to wear while shopping. I must discard my gloves and wash my hands after I leave the store. I tried this with only one hitch. When checking out, after I put my credit card in the slot, I must press “yes” to say I agree with the amount they are charging me. I couldn’t make the device respond. The cashier told me I had to take off my glove and press it. I did. So much for being germ-free.

Lastly, here’s a final note of changes to come as I live into my new lifestyle. I received an email from the person who cuts my hair saying she is closing her shop for the duration. I have worn my hair quite short for longer than I can remember. I’m really curious to see how it will look whenever the duration is over.

I am praying for people everywhere frightened of the days ahead and for people and their families who become infected by the coronavirus. I pray for myself to stay healthy, and to not become a carrier. I mourn the dead.

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Haiku: Morning Ritual

Sitting surrounded
By puddle of newspaper
Where oh where is hope

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It Started With an Amaryllis

First there was the bowl of amaryllis bulbs my son and his wife gave me for Christmas. There were five bulbs the size of softballs. Each bulb had two shoots that promised glorious blooms. Today ten scarlet amaryllis flowers form a small shrub offset brilliantly by the clean white snow outside my window. I wanted to take a picture of the amaryllis to show my son and daughter-in-law who live in Minneapolis. But I don’t know how to do this with my smart phone. I would have to wait until one of my Cleveland grandchildren showed up to do this for me.

Yesterday my project was to print the Haiku I wrote two days ago on greeting cards using a Microsoft Word format so I could send each grandchild a Valentine. I discovered that Word greeting cards aren’t very flexible and don’t allow for the Haiku structure. I finally gave up and sent my grandchildren texts. As I texted each Haiku my phone remembered the words for me and had memorized my Haiku by the time I sent the last one. Then there was the fun of receiving texts back from each grandchild.

With the success of my Haiku greetings I decided to see if I could take photos of my amaryllis. And I somehow did.

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Haiku: Valentine from Grandma Hart to My Six Grandchildren

I wish you truly
From one Hart to another
A happy “Heart” Day

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